Stevie Mallan opened the scoring for Jack Ross’ men early on with a wonderful left-footed effort. James McPake’s Dee team made this an even contest and leveled 20 minutes from time through Christie Elliot, however, Kevin Nisbet, Jamie Gullan and Melker Hallberg efforts blew them away late on.
Whilst each team had progression to the last 16 of the League Cup bookmarked already, this one was still important on their path to go further than that stage. Victory here would seal a seeded spot in the draw, meaning avoidance of big-name matches.
It only took 10 minutes for someone to open the scoring. Hibs had put together a nice piece of attacking play and it was finished off by a sumptuous Mallan effort, taking a touch before leathering the ball into the top corner.
Dundee showed they weren’t out it yet, Paul McGowan and Declan McDaid trying their luck with efforts. The game leaders though were keen to add to their advantage, Joe Newell clipping the post 25 minutes in.
There was one more big chance to come before half-time, Martin Boyle this time driving the line before crossing to Nisbet, the striker only able to header wide.
An even first half had plenty of chances but Hibs certainly had the clearest of them. Their number 15 had two massive chances early in the second 45, unable to get a toe to Wright’s cross before Nisbet put a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
McPake’s men were still finding openings but rarely was Dillon Barnes in the Hibees goal being tested. He was beaten though 20 minutes from time, Elliot getting past Josh Doig after a brilliant Paul McGowan pass and finding the net.
Nisbet would eventually get his goal, Jamie Murphy showing his class with a mazy run into the box before the striker converted his cut-back. Gullan put the game to bed a few minutes later, another cutback this time coming from Boyle tapped home by Hibs’ academy product.
Hallberg added insult to injury with a fourth home goal, coming off the bench and within moments slotting into the bottom corner. 4-1 isn’t a fair refection of the game, but Hibs will be pleased with the day’s work against the Dee. Here are three things we learned.
A Premiership v Championship contest may have played out but this was hard to tell. Dundee more than matched their hosts, much the better team up until Hibs’ second goal.
McPake would have liked reward from this endeavour but he will be pleased nonetheless with how his team performed against a side currently fourth in the tier above. That said, how his team opened the floodgates after conceding a second goal will disappoint him.
After a strong start to the season, Hibs hit two disappointing games back-to-back, first a derby defeat in the Scottish Cup semi-final before their worst display of the term away to Aberdeen.
Ross was scathing in his criticism after the Dons match but he’ll be pleased with this. It wasn’t comfortable, however, their class showed and they got a hard-fought win over the line.
Last 16 advantage
Whilst progression was secured for both teams prior to this encounter, both Ross and McPake were hoping for wins in this. Getting into the seeded section would massively aid going further in this competition.
Dundee now face potential ties against the likes of Celtic and Rangers, plus other top Premiership sides in Aberdeen and Motherwell. Hibs have easier ties in comparison to deal with following this outcome.